The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) revealed recently that it will be publishing a data protection guide for businesses and organisations around big data. The news comes after the ICO announced at an event in London that there were over 15,000 data protection complaints in 2013/14, representing a 8.5 percent increase from the previous year and 5,296 freedom of information complaints, marking an 11.9 percent increase from the previous year. The ICO said the cause of this increase in complaints was partly due to the rise of new technology.

“It’s not just the technology itself,” David Smith, deputy commissioner at the ICO, said at the event in London yesterday. “It’s more about how the technology is applied. So big data is an issue, and there will be a big data publication shortly.”

Moreover, Christopher Graham, the UK Information Commissioner also commented that the use of data is becoming increasingly complex and that the ICO ought to have more funding to deal with the rising problem of data privacy.

“Facebook, [NHS] care data, Google: it is clear that organisations’ use of data is getting ever more complicated. People need to know someone is watching over their information.

“Independence means someone who’s got the resources to take on this ever-growing number of cases. The last 12 months have been a record year – more complaints resolved than ever, more enforcement action taken and more advice given through our helpline.

“And it also means having the powers to act on the more serious complaints. A strong regulator is needed if a data breach affects millions of people. To do our job properly, to represent people properly, we need stronger powers, more sustainable funding and a clearer guarantee of independence.”

Although the ICO was granted more powers to make it easier to fine firms who breach privacy laws, this years report revealed that the organization had not issued a single fine.

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